Wait, former champion Adrien Broner is no longer going to talk trash?

Shawn Porter, left, knocks Adrien Broner off-balance during a welterweight fight on Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Las Vegas. Porter won by unanimous decision after a 12-round bout. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Adrien Broner, right, is knocked off-balance by Shawn Porter during their fight in June 2015 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Porter won a unanimous decision/Associated Press photo by David Becker

 

Adrien Broner has been a big-mouth during his career. But he swears those days are now behind him. No kidding. He said as much Thursday at the final news conference for his welterweight fight Saturday against Adrian Granados at Cintas Center in Cincinnati (on Showtime).

“I know everyone is used to me coming up here and being boastful,” said Broner, of Cincinnati. “That’s not me anymore. I have a lot of respect for Adrian Granados and he’s a great fighter.

“A businessman that can fight. That’s what I am nowadays. I’m not a (expletive)-talker anymore.”

That’s a heck of a turn-around, assuming Broner keeps to that credo. One thing’s for sure, he can fight. Broner (32-2, 24 KOs) has won titles in four weight classes, but Granados (18-4-2, 12 KOs) is confident he can hand Broner his third loss.

“People that think I’m an underdog, don’t know me,” said Granados, of Cicero, Ill. “They don’t know the tricks I have up my sleeve.”

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Canceled bout between Miguel Cotto and James Kirkland never should have been a pay-per-view event – period

Canelo Alvarez delivers a blow to Miguel Cotto as he wins unanimously for the middleweight title.

Canelo Alvarez lands a left hook to the jaw of Miguel Cotto during their November 2015 bout in Las Vegas/Associated Press photo by John Locher

 

We never like to hear about a fighter having to pull out of a scheduled bout because of an injury, so it was therefore somewhat of a bummer to hear that James Kirkland had to withdraw from his scheduled Feb. 25 junior middleweight fight against Miguel Cotto in Frisco, Texas.

Roc Nation announced Thursday that Kirkland had sustained a fractured nose. The news release did not say how it happened, but it doesn’t really matter. If he can’t fight, he can’t fight.

That said, this probably saves HBO a bit of embarrassment. See, the longtime boxing giant had for whatever reason decided to make this a pay-per-view bout. That was just ridiculous.

Cotto has not fought in nearly 15 months and is coming off a decision loss to Canelo Alvarez. Kirkland has not fought in 21 months and is coming off a third-round knockout loss to Alvarez.

Again, to think of this as a pay-per-view event was just absurd. If it is re-scheduled down the road, we’re hopeful HBO will realize that this belongs on its regular channel, not its pay-per-view arm.

Even if the promoters for the respective fighters somehow forced HBO’s hand – and we don’t know that – HBO needs to be in control. It must stay away from making obvious non-pay-per-view fights into pay-per-view. No one should push this company around, after all it’s done over the decades.

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Anthony Joshua, Wladimir Klitschko spread their news in old New York

Anthony Joshua, left, and Wladimir Klitschko were in New York City on Tuesday to promote their April 29 heavyweight title fight in London/Photo by Ed Mulholland

 

Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua of England has an objective – to be the best ever.

“That’s my obsession,” he said Tuesday in New York City, where he and former champion Wladimir Klitschko hosted a news conference promoting their April 29 fight at Wembley Stadium in London, where a sellout crowd of 90,000 is expected.

“I’m a man who likes to perform and entertain and that’s always been there. I’ve always wanted to take on the best,” Joshua said.

Since Klitschko will be 41 by the time this fight happens – his birthday is March 25 – Klitschko may not be “the best” at this point. That’s not to mention he’s coming off a loss to Tyson Fury that took place in November 2015. That’s another thing. Klitschko will have some 17 months out of the ring by fight night.

“I believe this man has a lot of skills,” Klitschko said of Joshua. “Maybe yes, maybe not he will be the biggest star in boxing. I know there are plans to fight (Deontay) Wilder after me.

“It’s good to be young and ambitious, but I believe this fight has a lot of questions. Is it too early for him, too late for me?”

Joshua, 27, is 18-0 with 18 knockouts. Klitschko, of Ukraine, is 64-4 with 53 knockouts.

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Sammy Vasquez, Luis Collazo ready to rumble in Thursday in Mississippi

The Associated Press

Luis Collazo (in the back) looks to be asking referee Vic Drakulich what he did wrong when he landed a low blow that caused Amir Khan to fall to the canvas during their May 2014 fight in Las Vegas won by Khan via decision/Associated Press photo by Isaac Brekken

 

Former welterweight champion Luis Collazo of Brooklyn is 35, and he’ll be 36 in April, so his career is on the downside. Sammy Vasquez is just 30, and he’s still trying to get a shot at a major title, so he’ll have plenty to lose when he takes on Collazo on Thursday from Horseshoe Casino in Tunica, Miss. (on Fox Sports 1).

Vasquez (21-1, 15 KOs) intimated this will be a difficult bout for him to win.

“Luis Collazo is a really tough opponent,” said Vasquez, of Monessen, Pa. “He’s always game; it doesn’t matter who he fights. I always enjoyed watching him growing up because he’s quick, strong and savvy.”

Vasquez is coming off his only defeat, to Felix Diaz via unanimous decision in July in Birmingham, Ala.

Collazo (36-7, 19 KOs) is hopeful of showing he still has the goods to be competitive against solid opposition.

“I’ve been in this game for 17 years as a pro,” he said. “I’ve seen every type of fighter. We’ll find out Thursday night how much I have left. Sometimes fighters can get counted out, but people don’t understand what’s going on behind the scenes. My preparation for this fight was great and we’ll find out Thursday if it translates to the ring.”

 

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TMZ: Oscar De La Hoya arrested early Wednesday in Pasadena for DUI

Despite the loss of his company’s CEO and a recent stint in a rehab facility, Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar De La Hoya is back in full swing during a press conference last week in Carson. (Photo by Gene Blevins)

Oscar De La Hoya/Photo by Gene Blevins

 

Oscar De La Hoya told this newspaper during a June 2014 sit-down that he was through with alcohol. This declaration came some nine months after his second trip to a rehab facility, where he was treated for alcohol and cocaine abuse.

But according to TMZ, De La Hoya on early Wednesday was arrested in Pasadena for driving under the influence. There are currently no further details available.

Eric Gomez, De La Hoya’s longtime friend who is also president of De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, returned a phone call seeking comment. However, he had little to say because he said he was in the dark until his phone started ringing Wednesday afternoon after he conducted a news conference for Saturday’s Golden Boy card in Indio.

“I can’t comment,” Gomez said. “I don’t have any information to begin with. But the attorneys are looking into everything.”

De La Hoya was asked in June 2014 if he understood he can never drink again. He responded in the affirmative.

“I’m convinced one thousand percent, a thousand percent, that I can’t,” he said. “That’s in my heart, that’s in my head. And that’s why I continue do work every single day. … That’s what it is. For the rest of my life. What that means is several things. I’m going to work harder than ever, I’m going to work honestly, I’m going to do what I really love doing, with passion. I’m going to have a great family life. I’m going to live life and do what I love doing. And that’s boxing. I can’t wait. I’m excited. I really am.”

De La Hoya is chairman of Golden Boy, one of the world’s top promotional companies. De La Hoya the fighter was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014.

 

 

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Jorge Linares happy to hand Anthony Crolla another loss in his backyard

Jorge Linares

 

Jorge Linares of Venezuela has already beaten Anthony Crolla once at Manchester Arena in England, taking Crolla’s lightweight title via unanimous decision this past September. Since Crolla is from Manchester, it was an impressive victory.

Linares (41-3, 27 KOs) apparently is not the type to say, “Been there, done that,” so he will happily take on Crolla again at the same venue March 25 (on Showtime).

“I wasn’t supposed to win the first fight, but I’m glad I did so I can come back and do it again,” Linares said Tuesday at a news conference in Manchester.

Crolla (31-5-3, 13 KOs) certainly doesn’t want to lose twice in his backyard to the same opponent. Linares knows that, so he expects Crolla to come with everything he’s got.

“It’s a new year and a new day,” Linares said. “Anthony is going to be better and hungrier. And that means I will work harder, come with more skill and an even better game plan to win.”

Crolla, 30, can’t wait for the opportunity to get back the hardware he lost in September.

“I want the belt back, simple,” he said. “Fighting for these prizes in front of us is huge. It was a special night last time; great crowd and it’ll be even bigger this time. The setting was perfect, but I lost my belt.

“I lost to a great fighter, but I don’t celebrate losing. I don’t want to feel it again and I want to go down in history by beating a great fighter.”

 

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Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia talk the talk at Barclays Center news conference

The Associated Press

Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman, left, lands a punch on Shawn Porter during their welterweight title fight in June at Barclays Center. Thurman retained his title via narrow decision/AP photo by Gregory Payan

 

Welterweight world champions Keith “One Time” Thurman and Danny Garcia are a combined 60-0 with 41 knockouts. That’s a lot of talent. The question is, which fighter has more?

We’ll find out March 4 when they square off in a title-unification bout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on CBS).

The interested parties hosted a news conference there Wednesday. Nor surprisingly, each fighter talked down to the other.

“This fight is going to have action,” said Thurman, of Clearwater, Fla. “There’s too much on the line. I remember Danny from the amateurs. I applaud him for everything he’s done in his career. He signed the wrong contract, though, because Keith Thurman’s got this. Danny Garcia, you’re getting knocked out.”

Said Garcia: “I just had to tell Keith be careful what he wished for. He wanted this fight. But now that he’s got it, you have to deal with me.”

Garcia, of Philadelphia, is trained by his father, Angel, who talks about as much trash as any trainer out there. Thurman intimated he couldn’t care less about that.

“Angel will talk to try to get people off of their game,” Thurman said. “Danny is an elite fighter, and he can talk for himself. These father trainers seem to like the limelight as much as the fighter, if not more. At the end of the day, I’m only fighting Danny Garcia.”

Thurman, 28, is 27-0 with 22 knockouts. Garcia, 28, is 33-0 with 19 knockouts.

 

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‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, Gennady Golovkin once again paired on a card

Roman Gonzalez, left, of Nicaragua, lands a punch on Mexican champion Carlos Cuadras during a WBC super flyweight championship boxing match, Saturday, Sept. ...

Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, left, lands a punch to the face of Carlos Cuadras in their super flyweight world-title fight in September at the Fabulous Forum/AP photo by Richard Vogel

 

Roman “Chocolatitio” Gonzalez fighting underneath a Gennady Golovkin main event has become a regular thing of late. It has been the case in three of their past four respective championship bouts.

They’ll do it again when Gonzalez defends his super flyweight world title against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand on March 18 at Madison Square Garden, where that night middleweight champion Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) will take on Daniel Jacobs (32-1, 29 KOs) in the main event (on HBO pay-per-view).

Gonzalez (46-0, 38 KOs), of Nicaragua, believes Rungvisai is capable of giving him some grief in the ring.

“Rungvisai is a very tough fight for me,” said Gonzalez, who has won titles in four weight classes. “I know that he has fought many other great fighters, including Carlos Cuadras. But with my training and the blessing of God, I plan to come out victorious.”

Gonzalez in September became the first from his country to win titles in four weight classes when he took a unanimous decision over then-super flyweight champion Cuadras at the Fabulous Forum. Cuadras in May 2014 took the title from Rungvisai via eight-round technical decision in Cuadras’ native Mexico.

That’s the same belt Gonzalez took from Cuadras, and Rungvisai (41-4-1, 38 KOs) wants it back.

“I respect Roman Gonzalez,” he said. “He is a legend. He has done great things for boxing, especially by showing the world how talented and exciting smaller-weight fighters can be. I am happy for Nicaragua to have such a great hero.

“However, super flyweight is my weight. And the … belt is my belt. I will do whatever it takes to win my belt back and I am confident I can do it.”

 

 

 

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David Lemieux, Curtis Stevens can’t wait to get at each other on March 11

Gennady Golovkin, left, hits David Lemieux in the eighth round of a world middleweight title fight at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015. Golovkin won by a TKO in the eighth round. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

David Lemieux, right, absorbs serious punishment from Gennady Golovkin in their title-unification bout in October 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York City/Associated Press photo by Rich Schultz

 

Apparently, there is no love lost between David Lemieux and Curtis Stevens. Now the hard-hitting middleweight contenders will be able to do something about that because they will tangle March 11 at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, N.Y. (on HBO).

The bout was officially announced Monday. Lemieux can’t wait to get at Stevens.

“The time for talking is done,” said Lemieux, a former world champion who lost his belt to Gennady Golovkin via eighth-round TKO in a title-unification bout in October 2015. “And after many long months of hearing Curtis yell about all the things he’s going to do in the ring, I’m really looking forward to shutting his mouth on March 11.”

Stevens has had one shot at a world title, but he was stopped after eight rounds by Golovkin in November 2013. Stevens is ranked as high as No. 3 in the world by one organization, the same of which ranks Lemieux No. 4.

“The wait is finally over,” Stevens said. “No more talking. My hands will do the talking on March 11.”

The bout will be co-promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and Main Events. De La Hoya believes the dislike Lemieux and Stevens have for one another is very real.

“You often see fighters pretend not to like each other to help draw an audience,” said De La Hoya, who promotes Lemieux. “These two guys aren’t faking it; they don’t like each other at all. Given the thunder each holds in both hands, and their desire to make a statement in the middleweight division, I think fans are going to be in for a knockout – a spectacular one at that.”

Lemieux, of Canada, is 36-3 with 32 knockouts. Stevens, of Brooklyn, is 29-5 with 21 knockouts.

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James DeGale, Badou Jack more than prepared for title-unification fight

James DeGale

James DeGale/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

We don’t get a lot of title-unification bouts these days, so when we do, we must relish the moment. From the sound of it, James DeGale of England and Badou Jack of Sweden plan on doing just that.

They will square off Saturday at Barclays Center (on Showtime). Each fighter will put his super middleweight championship belt on the line. Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs) can’t wait.

“I’m fighting another world champion, so I  know that it’s not going to be easy,” he said. “No matter what, we’re getting the job done.”

Jack, 33, has been keeping his eye on his fellow champion, just in case this moment came to fruition.

“I’ve been paying attention to DeGale for a while,” he said. “You have to study your opponent a little bit for a fight this big. I’m ready to do anything it takes to win the fight.”

DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs) said he, too, has gone the extra mile in his preparation.

“Camp is done; it’s been a wicked camp,” said DeGale, 30. “Everything has gone well. On Saturday night, you’re going to see two world-class fighters go to war. I have no doubt that I will be victorious and become the super middleweight unified champion.”

 

 

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